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Detroit Bankruptcy Judge Opens Court To Critics

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Dozens of people are being given five minutes each to object to Detroit’s plan to get out of bankruptcy.

Judge Steven Rhodes says approximately 600 people without attorneys have filed objections. Roughly 80 will be given a chance to speak during morning and afternoon sessions Tuesday in federal court.

“One objector worked for the city’s library for 38 years and another is a 25-year police sergeant,” said WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton. “Both retirees likely will argue that they’ve been discriminated against, especially over the loss of health care benefits and other promises made when they started working. Others could argue that the city has certain assets, like art at the DIA, that could be sold to help the city, and many will undoubtedly say that corporations who took risks investing in Detroit are in a far better position to take a hit than those living on a fixed income.”

The judge held a similar hearing last fall on Detroit’s eligibility to file for bankruptcy.

“Now, will it make a difference? The last time the judge conducted one of these types of hearings, he seemed to consider the thoughts and future decisions, especially with regard to retirees,” Langton said.

Rhodes will hold a trial on Detroit’s bankruptcy strategy, starting Aug. 14. He must find that the exit plan is fair and feasible, among other things, in order for the city to shed billions of dollars in debt.

Voting by creditors ended last Friday. Those results will be released next Monday.

[Continuing Coverage: Detroit Bankruptcy]

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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